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Fastball

From Academic Kids

For the American band of the same name, see Fastball (band).

The fastball is the most common type of pitch in baseball. Some "power" pitchers can throw it 95-100 mi/h (150-160 km/h), and rely on this speed to prevent the ball from being hit. Others throw more slowly but put movement on the ball or throw it on the outside of the plate where the batter cannot easily reach it. Fastballs are usually thrown with backspin, so that the Magnus effect creates an upward force on the ball, causing it to fall less rapidly than might be expected. A pitch on which this effect is most marked is often called a "rising fastball", as the ball appears to rise to the batter.

Gripping the ball with the fingers across the wide part of the seam ("four-seam fastball") produces a straight pitch, gripping it across the narrow part ("two-seam fastball") produces a sinking fastball, and holding a two-seam fastball off-center ("cut fastball") imparts lateral movement to the fastball.

A variation on the fastball is the forkball and the similar split-finger fastball.

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